Teaching grammar: issues and challenges

Norhaida Aman


The relationship between teachers’ beliefs and their instructional practices has attracted educational researchers’ attention. The literature on teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices suggests that a sound understanding of those beliefs is extremely helpful in developing and implementing useful programs and effective in-service training. This study explores the complex relationship between the beliefs and practices of teachers from primary schools in Singapore, specifically looking at how instructional strategies are reflections of teacher beliefs on grammar instruction.

Overall, the teachers who participated in this survey unanimously agree that grammar is important and has to be taught in primary school. They believe that grammar consists of rules of sentence formation, and the use of accurate tenses, and that grammar should focus on both form and meaning. Explicit discussion of grammatical rules in the classroom is thought to be extremely important in helping students acquire the English language and develop their writing skills.

In terms of their classroom practices, the data suggests a more traditional approach of explicit teaching of grammar where rules and sentence structures are first taught to students and brought to their attention.


grammar teaching; grammar instruction; teacher beliefs

Full Text:



Aljohani, S.M.A. (2012). Grammar beliefs of in-service teachers. British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 11(1): 96-108.

Aman, N. (2016). “I believe, therefore I practice”: Teachers’ beliefs on literacy acquisition and their classroom practices. In Silver, R., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. (Eds.), Quadrilingual Education in Singapore: Pedagogical innovation in language education (pp. 39-56). USA: Springer.

Borg, S. (2003) Teacher cognition in grammar teaching: A literature review. Language Awareness, 12(2): 96-108.

Canh, L. V., & Barnard, R. (2009). Teaching grammar: A survey of teachers’ attitudes in Vietnam. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 6(3): 245-273.

Chia, S. C. C. (2003). Singapore primary school teachers‟ beliefs in grammar teaching and learning. In D. Deterding, A. Brown & E. L. Low (Eds), English in Singapore: Research on grammar (pp. 117–127). Singapore: McGraw Hill.

Farrell, T.S. C., & Lim, P.L.P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: A case study of teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 9(2) : 1-6.

Johnson, K. E. (1994). The emerging beliefs and instructional practices of preservice English as second language teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 10(4), 439-452.

Kagan, D. (1992). Implications of research on teacher belief. Educational Psychologist, 27, 65-90.

McMullen, M.B. (1999). Characteristics of teachers who talk the DAP talk AND walk the DAP walk. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 13(2), 216-230.

Ng, E. K. J., & Farrell, T.S.C. (2003). Do teachers’ beliefs of grammar teaching match their classroom practices? A Singapore case study. In D. Deterding. Brown A & Low E L (Eds. 2003) English in Singapore: Research on Grammar. Singapore (pp. 128-137): McGraw Hill.

Ng, C. H. (2012). Teacher cognition and grammar teaching approaches. Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 12: 17-31.

Orton, R. E. 1996 How can teacher beliefs about student learning be justified? Curriculum Inquiry 26(2), 203–217.

Pajares, M.F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.

Richardson, V., Anders, P., Tidwell, D. & Lloyd, C. (1991). The relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices in reading comprehension instruction. American Educational Research Journal, 28(3), 559-584.

Vartuli, S. (1999). How early childhood teacher beliefs vary across grade level. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 14, 489-514.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26418/jeltim.v2i1.40032


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of English Language Teaching Innovations and Materials (JELTIM)

JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING INNOVATIONS AND MATERIALS is published by the Language Center of Universitas Tanjungpura in collaboration the with the English Language Teaching Materials (ELTeaM) association  [Download MoU]. The publications of this journal is indexed by Google Scholar, ROAD, Garuda, and Crossref. Download full Board Committees here


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution
NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

View My Stats